Romney on Obamacare promise: ‘It was not honest’
November 15th, 2013
10:06 AM ET
11 months ago

Romney on Obamacare promise: ‘It was not honest’

(CNN) – Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney argued Friday that President Barack Obama knowingly misled Americans when he repeatedly assured them they could keep their health insurance plans under Obamacare, a promise that turned out to be inaccurate.

Romney also detailed how he thinks the GOP can perform better in future elections and talked about feeling embarrassed when he found out someone had leaked confidential information about his campaign for the new book, “Double Down.”

‘What starts twisted stays twisted’

Romney said beyond the technical difficulties of HealthCare.gov, the bigger problem for the President was his pledge to Americans that they could maintain their plans if they liked them.

“That promise was not accurate. It was not honest, and the whole foundation of his second term, I think, is in jeopardy as a result of that,” he said in an interview with CBS’ “This Morning,” in which he was joined by his wife, Ann.

Asked if Obama lied to Americans on purpose, Romney said the President “understood that a lot of people would lose their insurance.”

“They knew that and yet said, ‘Well, you can keep your insurance, period’,” Romney continued. “It's dishonest. What starts twisted stays twisted, and it's not going to be able to be fixed until we fundamentally reshape Obamacare.”

Obama repeatedly apologized Thursday when he announced his administration would allow insurers to extend policies for a year to the millions of people who’ve been getting cancellation notices. He also attempted to explain why he and other Democrats originally told people they’d be able to keep their plans.

“My expectation was that for 98 percent of the American people either it genuinely wouldn't change at all or they would be pleasantly surprised with the options in the marketplace and that the grandfather clause would cover the rest,” Obama said. “That proved not to be the case. That's on me.”

Romney, who oversaw similar health care reform when he was governor in Massachusetts , said his state fared better in its rollout of the law because “the implementation was slow on purpose.”

“There was time to iron out the software problems that would make it be more smooth as larger and larger groups of people applied,” he said.

The GOP’s future and immigration

Romney said he’s not going to run for president again but said he sees his role in the party as an advocate for better nominating processes.

“I’m concerned about a trend to move toward caucuses and conventions for nominating candidates as opposed to primaries. I want more people to be involved in the process because I want conservatives to win – not just to fight, but to win,” he said.

The former GOP nominee also weighed in on immigration, following House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement this week that he has “no intention” of ever taking up the Senate-passed immigration reform bill or reconciling with the Senate to come up with a compromise

Romney, who’s famously known for pushing 'self-deportation' during the 2012 GOP primaries, said he’s “absolutely convinced that the Republican Party must deal with immigration.”

As for 2016, Romney, as well as Ann, named Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as strong potential presidential candidates if they decide to run.

“I do believe that those who come here illegally ought to have an opportunity to get in line with everybody else,” he continued. “I don't think those who come here illegally should jump to the front of the line or be given a special deal…but I think they should have a chance just like anybody else to get in line and to become a citizen if they'd like to do so.”

Embarrassed by a leak

Last week CNN reported that Romney called Christie immediately after excerpts from a book about the 2012 campaign had details about Romney's vice presidential selection process and Christie's vetting as a possible running mate.

"It's very disappointing," Christie said in an exclusive interview with CNN anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper. "I think it's a complete violation of trust of me and the spirit within which I entered that process."

According to the campaign book “Double Down,” there were concerns about Christie’s health and weight during the vetting process and how Christie, when he was serving as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey, had been investigated by the Justice Department for exceeding government travel expense rates.

Romney said Friday he “was very upset” about the leak and that it “embarrassed my campaign and embarrassed me.”

“And I told (Christie), I’m very sorry, this is not something he expected. When you provide confidential information to a presidential candidate or nominee, you expect him to keep it private,” he said.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Obamacare
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    “I’m concerned about a trend to move toward caucuses and conventions for nominating candidates as opposed to primaries. I want more people to be involved in the process because I want conservatives to win – not just to fight, but to win"

    The current system is what gave him his shot. This comment would be from someone who was passed over. Anyway, he is talking like a more process-of-the-people would yield more conservatives. Watch out! The will of the People might make for more grass roots liberals like you have never seen!!

    November 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Mittens who?

    November 15, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Romney said he’s not going to run for president again but said he sees his role in the party as an advocate for better nominating processes."

    Well, I wish him luck. I'm not sure what he plans on accomplishing, but no doubt Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have some special "magic" they are counting on to get them through the primaries.

    Once GOPers start disenfranchising their own voters (and yes, the primary plans are in the making to do just that) there is going to plenty of popcorn to pass around.

    November 15, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. NorthboroughDan

    Pay attention. Mittens is an expert on dishonesty.

    November 15, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Bill from GA

    Romney said he sees his role in the party as an advocate for better nominating processes.

    Here's an idea, mitts:

    Each state is a part of one of six groups; each group roughly the same total number of people. The first election Group A states have the first primary, or caucus, their choice. No earlier than June. Two weeks later, Group B. And on and on. Then have the conventions.

    Four years later, start with Group B, with Group A last.

    Feel free to use my plan, mitts. No charge. And if you want to, have a Repub Rule, that lets the party throw out the results and the 1% decide in back rooms at the convention. Only for repubs,though.

    November 15, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Denise

    24/7 Obama lied, Americans died, blah blah blah...........The media pundits like to hear themselves talk, but noone else cares or is even listening!

    November 15, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    That's nice...now run along and play with your car elevator.

    November 15, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Denise

    We haven't heard yet from Ann! Maybe Romeny will run again.....

    November 15, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. teaparty days are numbered

    you know if the traitors from the right would work toward making life better for all of America instead of just a few at the top then the Democrats wouldn't have to fight so hard against the obstructionist money grabbers to help this country take care of its own.

    November 15, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Michael Moon

    "Grandfather clause?" In 2010 HHS rewrote the regulation to specifically cancel any plan that had changed AT ALL since the law was passed. When you are apologizing for lying, you should stop lying. This is yet another lie! We need to accept his resignation and soon, before it is too late for America...

    November 15, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Sniffit

    USHealth Group. Look them up and what they've been caught doing in SC. THEN REPORT ON IT, CNN. Your avoidance of reporting on anything the insurers are doing to try to defraud customers, create a false impression that the ACA is increasing their premiums and costs and dupe them into enrolling either in (a) more expensive plans without checking the exchange (see: Humana) OR (b) trick them into buying bunk products THAT ARE NOT EVEN HEALTH INSURANCE AND WILL NOT PROTECT THEM FROM HIGH MEDICAL COSTS and just pay the penalty for not buying health insurance, on the exchange or otherwise...it's pretty disgusting CNN. These stories are gathering momentum and you're going to be left behind because you're so desperate not to undermine your nontroversy narrative.

    November 15, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Mel

    Romney is being diplomatic...Obama lied through his teeth about if you like your plan you can keep it.
    Romney was also right about 47% of Americans being parasites who want somebody else to pay their way.

    November 15, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Mel

    Romney is being diplomatic...Obama lied through his teeth about if you like your plan you can keep it.
    Romney was also right about 47% of Americans being parasites who want somebody else to pay their way.
    ***************
    Yes, the parasites voted for him.

    Next!

    November 15, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up People!

    Isn't this the same guy that had the mitigated gall to say their campaign wouldn't be dictated by facts
    -------------------------------------------------
    The very same mo fo.

    November 15, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. sonny chapman

    Hey Mitt; people see through you & don't like you; especially those 47%.

    November 15, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Babyboomer

    Are we now taking criticism for the man who refused to release more than 2 years of tax returns, changes positions on policies he help create (Romneycare), etc., etc., etc? Some peoples nerve amazes me...

    November 15, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Denise

    Funny how dittohead and tea party crowd refer to fellow Americans as 'parasites'. In essence, they are offending most of their voting constituents living in poor red states. These folks certainly aren't more educated, have more money, moral or patriotic!

    November 15, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Anonymous

    This is the second time Romney has called the President a liar. More proof that money can't buy class,
    character or respect.
    These are words we expect from the Faux crowd, and not from one who wants to be "important" to
    a group of people who have even less character than him.
    At least the President apologized for the mistakes made, and is trying to fix it. I have more
    repect for people who try to do the right thing, even if it falls short, than I do for huffers and puffers.
    All Teapublicans are huffing and puffing, holding witch hunts, beating their chests over what
    they perceive to be a "victory" for their obstructionist tactics and the harm they have done to
    the American people-with no apologies.
    Never again will I trust a Republican.

    November 15, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. SayWhat

    They ask a man who ran on creating jobs, but was really got rich off stealing jobs.

    November 15, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Denise

    Tea party voting for the interests of a few and certainly far from their own best interests! They might as well have a license plate that says " I AM KOCH BROTHER'S (fill in the blank).

    November 15, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Denise

    Keep Mitt Romney front and center! We want to keep the dog and pony show on as long as we can! Who will be the next clown to jump out of the car!!

    November 15, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Thomas

    Look at the Market , employment , jobs ..

    After GW Bush and the crash , his fellow republicans blaming everyone but themselves , then doing nothing , obstructing with no new ideas or vision .

    I can't take a guy like Mitt Romney seriously , he is in denial about man made climate change , he has five sons who avoided military service during times of war , he has 24 grandchildren . Obviously Overpopulation and Patriotism become lost in his personal nepotistic conquest for wealth and power.

    November 15, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Winston Smith

    What a shame. Too stupid to know when to leave the party. You've been asked to leave by the voters. Leave already.

    November 15, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Sniffit

    Methinks someone's car elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor....

    November 15, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Data Driven

    I love when the mod goes on an extended Cheetohs break.

    I imagine him with the sloven appearance of Jack Black conjoined with the personality of "The Geek" in Hughes' "Sixteen Candles".

    November 15, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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